The compilation 'notitia dignitatum' (Cnd)
The compilation of lists and 89 pictures which begins with the item
notitia dignitatum omnium tam civilium quam militarium in partibus orientis
and ends with the item
ceteri praesides ad similitudinem praesidis dalmatiae officium habent

Versions of the Compilation notitia dignitatum

There are known to exist several graphic entities whose contents, comprising part or all of a compilation of 89 pictures and lists, beginning with the list item notitia dignitatum omnium tam civilium quam militarium in partibus orientis and ending with the list item ceteri praesides ad similitudinem praesidis dalmatiae officium habent, have sufficient in common to demonstrate that they are all mutally-independent copies, either direct or indirect, of the same absent antecedent graphic entity which is identified as their archetype (α). That entity is the Compilation 'notitia dignitatum' (Cnd).

Independent versions

The α is known to have been copied several times independently, both directly and indirectly, between 1427 and 1551. At least nine of these mutually-independent copies, of part or all of the α are attested by the following independent versions of part or all of the Cnd which are arranged in either the known or the presumed chronological order of their creation: namely:

C Cambridge, FitzWilliam Museum, ms. 86-1972, (fol.1r-5v), {formerly Cheltenham, Phillipps 16397}

and facsimile copies of another six pages from the same manuscript book in

N Norwich,
Castle Museum of Art, Archaeology and Natural History, Bulwer Collection, drawings 1223.B.21; 1223.B.22; 1223.B.23 in the Colman Collection (accession no. 235 of 1951)

O Oxford, Bodleian library, western ms. 19854 - Canonici ms. misc. lat. 378, (fol.88v-170r).

P Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, latin ms. 9661, (fol.72r-146v).

F Frankfurt: fragments of a manuscript book dismembered in that town by one or more bookbinders, about 1630, including:

Ff Frankfurt am Main, Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg, ms. lat. qu.76, (fol.1r-1v).

Fl Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, ms. BPL 2869, (fol.1r-v, 2r-v).

T Trento, Biblioteca comunale, ms. W 3103, (fol.70v-108v),

Bf Basel, Froben manuscript, which apparently no longer exists, and was the exemplar of (among others):

L London, Victoria and Albert Museum, National Art Library, MSL/1957/2668 (fol.15v-102r),

A Andreas Alciatus, Dignitatum tam civilium quam militarium Imperii Occidentalis Index, (Basel, 1546), (col.471-p.487),

B imprint, by Hieronymus Froben, Notitia utraque cum Orientis tum Occidentis ultra Arcadii Honoriique Caesarum tempora, (Basel, 1552), (fol.[14]v-[96]v),
(This imprint is generally referred to as the edition of Gelenius or Sigmund Gelensky, but he cannot be shown to have done more than write the dedicatory letter and, if this imprint is referred to at all as an edition, it should be described as the edition of Rhenanus).

V Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Barberini lat. 157, (fol.91r-172v).

M München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. Clm. 10291: codex 1 = fol.1-170, (fol.88r-169v)

W München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. Clm. 10291: codex 2 = fol.171-222, (fol.178v-222v)

Supplements to, and excerpts from, independent versions

Where these independent versions no longer have all of their initial contents, either because the codices in which they exist were subsequently damaged, or because the transcripts were changed, copies of the initial items occasionally exist in the notes, correspondence and commentaries of 16thC writers. These 16thC documents also sometimes contain excerpts copied from other independent versions contained in codices which either no longer exist or have not yet been identified.

Dependent versions

The independent versions listed above were copied, either directly or indirectly, by the following dependent versions of the Cnd, namely:

from (C) ---------- Paris, Bibliothèque national de France, ms. Lat. nouv.acq. 1688 (fol.1-10) - M.Labande.

from (O) ---------- Giessen, Universitätsbibliothek, ms. 946 (fol.349r-357v).

"København, Det kongelige Bibliotek, ms. gl.kgl.sam. 498 (fol.3r-91r).

"Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, ms. Vossianus Lat. F. 44 (fol.3r-24r, 25v=26v).

"Madrid, Biblioteca nacional, ms. Reservado 36 (fol.88v-165v).

"München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, ms. Clm 794 (pp. 176-339).

"Napoli, Biblioteca nazionale, ms. IV.D.14 (fol.16v-92r#).

"Paris, Bibliothèque national de France, ms. Lat. Nouv. Acq.1424 (fol.91v-173r).

"Parma, Biblioteca palatina, ms. 1280 (HH.I.64) (fol.1r-105r).

"Piacenza, Biblioteca comunale, ms.9 (fol.1r-103r).

"Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Vatic. Lat. 3715 (pp.5-47, 50-53).

"Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Vatic. Lat. 3901 (fol. 122r-127r [n.a. 1-6]).

"Venezia, Biblioteca Giustiniani-Recanati Falck, ms. cl. VI cod. 12 (inv.865) (fol.1r-15v).

"Alciatus, A., Index dignitatum civilium militariumque in oriente (Lyon, 1529-1530) (pp. 108-120).

"Fabricius, G., Romanarum dignitatum et administrationum tam civilium quam militarium in occidentis regionibus index, Hadriano imperante. (Basel, 1549-1550) (pp. 46-73).

"Schonhovius, A., Dignitates omnes, administrationesque tam civiles quam militares, quas Romani in provinciis orientis & occidentis habuere. (Basel, 1551) (pp.3-9).

from (P) ---------- Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, ms. R.88.sup. (fol.177r-186r).

"Paris, Bibliothèque national de France, ms.Latin 5825E (fol.1r-76r).

"Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ms. Chigi, Latin E.VII.235 (fol72r-146r).

from (P) and (B) -- Genève, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 118 (fol.21v-96v).

from (T) ---------- Trento, Biblioteca del Castello Buonconsiglio, ms. 1360 (fol.70v-108v).

from (B) ----------Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, ms. Vulcanianus 21 (fol.17r-21v).

"St.Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, ms. 663 (pp.103-149 [n.a. pp.101-145,523]).


The symbols used above to denote the independent versions of the Cnd are also used to denote the codices in which they exist and of whose contents these versions generally form only a part. In order to distinguish a codex from its version, the symbol used to denote the version is printed in bold type, while the same symbol, used to denote the codex in which the version occurs, is printed in ordinary type and enclosed by the brackets {}: for example, the version O is contained in the codex {O}.


There exist several versions of the Cnd, referred to as editions, which were derived from the contents of several, but not all, of the known and extant mutually-independent copies of its absent α. The significant editions are those by:

Guido Panciroli,
Notitia utraque cum orientis tum occidentis ultra Arcadii Honoriique tempora. (Venezia, 1593) (etc.)

Philipp Labbé,
Notitia dignitatum imperii Romani. (Paris, 1651) (etc.)

Eduard Böcking (Bonn, 1839-53)
Notitia dignitatum et administrationum omnium tam ciuilium quam militarium in partibus orientis et occidentis. (Bonn, Marcus, 1839-1853). (etc.)

Otto Seeck (Berlin, 1876)
Notitia Dignitatum accedunt Notitia urbis Constantinopolitanae et Latercula prouinciarum. (Berlin, Weidmann, 1876) (reimpression Frankfurt a.M., Minerva, 1962).
This edition should properly be identified as the edition produced by Theodor Mommsen and Otto Seeck since the latter, who dedicated his edition Theodoro Mommsen grato animo, stated that: Mein Erstlingsbuch, die Ausgabe der Notitia Dignitatum, hat er angeregt, mir einen grossen Teil der handschriftlichen Quellen zugänglich gemacht und jeden Korrekturbogen mit einer Sorgfalt gelesen, als wenn es sich um sein eigenes Werk handelte. (O. Seeck, Zur Charakteristik Mommsens: Deutsche Rundschau 118 1904 p.81).

THIS PAGE WAS COMPILED BY - Dr. Ingo Maier - AND WAS LAST REVISED ON - 24 May 2010 - - - - -

Comments welcome